Hewitt says Google holds on to its Android code until it’s ready for a major release, which is not a true open source style. A real open source code would be seen by all as it’s being tweaked. By only releasing the code to the world once updates are finished, Google is doing the “bare minimum” to qualify as open.
The interesting subtext to Hewitt’s argument is that he is reportedly working on building a Facebook mobile operating system based on Android. Presumably, he’s frustrated that he has to wait for Google to put out the latest update of Android before he can really progress on his own Facebook OS.
Here’s Hewitt’s tweets in chronological order on Android, Apple, and open:
- How does Android get away with the “open” claim when the source isn’t public until major releases, and no one outside Google can check in?
- Compare the Android “open source” model to Firefox or Linux if you want to see how disingenuous that “open” claim is.
- Until Android is read/write open, it’s no different than iOS to me. Open source means sharing control with the community, not show and tell.
- I think it is the lack of visibility into daily progress that bothers me about Android more than the lack of write access.
- Refusing to share your vision and progress until the big event… how very open.
- [You] can’t argue Google is doing bare minimum to meet the definition of open.
- Point I am trying to make is, Rubin bickering with Jobs is a farce, because both refuse to share the one thing that matters: control.
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